According to Google, searches for local companies account for about 75% of all online activity. This makes it more important than ever to have a presence in local search results.
Getting search engine optimisation (SEO) done on your website is a good way to make sure you get found on search engines by people looking for your products and services, but the quickest and easiest way of making it into Google's search results is with a Google places listing.
What is Google Places?
A Google Places listing are for businesses that have a pushpin in the Google map and a corresponding result in the 'places for [insert search term] near [insert location' when you search for a local business using Google. For example, if someone is looking for holiday apartments in Surfers Paradise, your listing would appear on Google Places.
How to get started on Google Places
- Submit or claim your listing: Go to www.google.com/places/ and follow the steps. If your business is already on Google Places, you can do a search and claim your listing.
- Verify your details: Google needs to make sure that your listing is legitimate. There are 3 ways to verify your listing: by phone, postcard or text message. The phone or text method is the fastest way to verify your listing, otherwise you need to wait for Google to send you a postcard with a pin to verify your listing. It cannot go live until your listing is verified using any one of these three methods.
- Wait for your details to appear: It takes time for Google to start showing your listing in search results, and in many cases it won’t show up on the first page of Google. Of course, there are things you can do to your listing to improve your chances, such as SEO or SEM.
Five things you should do
- Listen to Google. Make sure you follow their Quality Guidelines, otherwise your listing may get declined or it may take much longer to get displayed.
- Be accurate. Fill out your Places listing as accurately as possible.
- Include as much information as possible. The more complete your listing is, the more likely it will be displayed within Google search results. For example, include your hours of operation, select appropriate categories for your business, payment options available, upload images (you can have up to 10 including your logo), videos and any extra information in the ‘Additional Details’ section.
- Encourage customer reviews. While it’s not always the case, listings with a greater number of positive reviews will typically appear above other listings that don’t.
- Select a Service Area. Companies that don’t want to show their physical address or who run a mobile business can also enjoy the benefits of a Google Places listing – when you’re submitting your details, select ‘Yes, this business serves customers at their locations’, then list your services areas by region or postcode. You can even choose to not show your business address on your listing.
Things you should not do with your listing
If you would like help setting up your Google Places listing, speak to one of the marketing consultants at TA Fastrack today on 1300 659 289 or visit www.tafastrack.com.au.
- Don’t keyword stuff. If you stuff your description with keywords, your listing will be denied. Write a clear, concise and accurate description of your products and services that includes your main keyword phrases once.
- Don’t misrepresent yourself. Always ensure the information you are providing is correct.
- Don’t use inappropriate photos. Google has clear guidelines on photos. Make sure you are not violating copyright, infringing on trademarks or use illegal content.